The use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to influence consumers and differentiate product offerings has become quite common. This research builds on the growing body of marketing literature through two investigations that manipulate consumers' perceptions of fit, motivation, and timing of corporate social initiatives embedded within promotions. We find that low-fit initiatives negatively impact consumer beliefs, attitudes, and intentions no matter what the firm's motivation, and that high-fit initiatives that are profit-motivated have the same impact. Furthermore, consumers consider the timing (proactive versus reactive) of the social initiative as an informational cue, and only the high-fit, proactive initiatives led to an improvement in consumer beliefs, attitudes, and intentions.
Journal of Business Research – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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